About once every two hours, a train strikes a vehicle or pedestrian at a railroad crossing somewhere in the United States. The Deratany Firm represents clients throughout Illinois, who have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in an accident involving a train. The firm has successfully obtained multimillion dollar settlements on behalf of train accident victims and their families, and our attorneys are currently representing several families of fatal train accidents.
Railroad injuries and deaths may be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Excessive Speed
- Failure to Sound a Warning
- Inadequate Sight Distances for Auto Drivers at Railroad Crossings
- Inadequate or Defective Safety Devices at Railroad Crossings
Many of these accidents were due to the negligence of the railway company, but accidents can also be caused by the negligence of motor vehicle operators, who fail to yield at railway crossings. Many accidents are caused by inspection and maintenance violations. Railroad companies and commuter rail lines, including the CTA and Metra, are considered common carriers and as such they are held to heightened liability standards by the Federal and state government. A common carrier is generally required to exercise the utmost care, diligence and vigilance in transporting passengers.
Passengers riding on trains, subways and trolleys are entitled to a very high duty of care from the operator of the train line. If you are injured because of the negligence of the conductor or the engineer, then the train company is liable for your injuries. Unfortunately, many train companies do not readily accept responsibility for their negligence.
Train accidents can involve locomotives, Metra and CTA commuter rail, subway, trolley, or local light rail systems. They can happen at crossings where the safety equipment fails or at unprotected crossings where there are no lights or signals to indicate an oncoming train to passenger vehicles. Trains can derail due to improper track maintenance or mechanical failure. Driver fatigue can contribute to train and railway accidents. Excessive speed is often a cause of train or trolley accidents. Train accidents can also lead to hazardous cargo spills, which can injure or kill nearby residents.
Our attorneys have extensive expertise in representing victims of railroad accidents. We have broad experience in investigating railroad accidents, determining the cause, and filing and pursuing claims against railroad companies. We know how to successfully navigate the complicated lines of state and federal law that cross and intersect in this area of negligence and liability.
Railroad companies have an established history of vigorously defending claims and have vast resources with which to mount their defense. It is important to keep in mind that the railroad companies and their insurance carriers evaluate claims with plaintiff’s choice of counsel in mind.